Hot dog variations

Hot dog variations

This is a listing of regional variations on the hot dog. Different areas of the world have local variations on the type of meat used, condiments and means of preparation, which are enumerated below.


United States


In Birmingham, at Pete's Famous Hot Dogs and Gus's Hot Dogs, grilled hot dogs were served with sauerkraut, ground beef, and homemade "sauce" that resembles New York red onion sauce. The owner of Pete's died in April 2011 taking the sauce recipe with him to his grave.[1][2]


The Sonoran hot dog, found in Tucson, Metro Phoenix, and in neighboring Sonora, Mexico, is a hot dog grilled in a processor or on a griddle, wrapped in Mesquite-smoked bacon, topped with freshly chopped tomatoes, onions, shredded yellow or cotijo cheese, tomatillo salsa or red chili sauce, pinto beans, mayonnaise, ketchup and/or mustard, and served on bread and often with a fresh-roasted chili. It originated in Hermosillo, the capital of Sonora.[3][4]


In Los Angeles, Pink's Hot Dogs promotes its celebrity customers and its chili dogs, the latter of which come in a wide number of varieties.[5] A local chain, Tommy's,[6] also has chili dogs alongside its much better-known chili hamburgers, and another local chain The Hat, which specializes in pastrami, has them also.

Other notable Los Angeles chains that specialize in hot dogs include Hot Dog On A Stick, which serves a preparation similar to a corn dog, but with a non-corn breading and Wienerschnitzel, a chain that bills itself as "The World's Largest Hot Dog Chain."[7] The Farmer John Dodger Dog is sold at Dodger Stadium. Street vendors in Los Angeles also serve the "Downtown Dog" a Mexican-style bacon-wrapped hot dog with grilled onions, jalapeños, bell peppers, mustard, ketchup and salsa as condiments.

Oki Dog, in West Hollywood, or Oki's Dog, on Pico[8] serves the Original Oki Dog—two hot dogs on a flour tortilla, covered with chili and pastrami and wrapped up like a burrito.

Also common in Los Angeles are bacon-wrapped hot dogs, often served with toppings such as fried peppers and onions, mayonnaise, etc. These are typically sold by street vendors who grill the hot dogs on small push-carts. The legality of such operations may be questionable in some instances. Locals sometimes refer to these treats as "death dogs" or "heart attack dogs"[9]


Connecticut hot dog restaurants often serve Hummel Bros or Grote and Weigel dogs, which are family operations. There is otherwise no particular Connecticut style. Options range from establishment to establishment, with Blackie's of Cheshire offering hot pepper relish, brown mustard or ketchup only[10] while the Windmilll of Stratford is known for dogs loaded with sauerkraut, onions, and pickly chili on soft buns.[11] Other noted establishments include Rawley's of Fairfield and Super Duper Weenie.[12]


A Chicago-style hot dog

In Chicago, a Chicago-style hot dog is a steamed all-beef, natural-casing hot dog topped with chopped onions, sliced/diced/wedged tomatoes, both a dill pickle spear and sweet pickle relish (a particularly bright green style of relish, referred to as "neon" green relish), yellow mustard directly on the sausage, pickled sport peppers, and is finished with celery salt, and served on a steamed poppy seed bun.[13] Chicago-style never includes ketchup, though some vendors offer small packets of the condiment for those wanting to add it. Outside Chicago this style of hot dog is universally associated with the city, but equally popular[citation needed] within Chicago is a Maxwell Street Polish sausage, usually served on a plain bun with fried or grilled onions and mustard.

Kansas and Missouri

A Kansas City-style hot dog is a pork sausage in a sesame seed bun topped with brown mustard, sauerkraut and melted Swiss cheese. (Jakle & Sculle 1999:165)


The most popular variety of hot dog in Maine is made with natural casing. The casing is colored red, and so the hot dogs are commonly referred to as red hot dogs, though they are more commonly known as red snappers.[14]


In Boston, hot dogs are often served steamed as opposed to grilled. The Fenway Frank is a fixture for Red Sox fans, and there are several other local brands such as Pearl that are used. Hot dogs in the Boston area are associated with Boston baked beans, though this is probably not unique to the region. Ketchup, mustard, relish, picalilli, and chopped onions are the most common toppings.[15]


In lower Michigan, a chili dog is called a Coney dog and is very specific as to the ingredients: a beef and pork hot dog with natural casing served on a steamed bun, topped with a beanless, all-meat chili, diced yellow onion, and yellow mustard. There are two variations on the Coney dog: Detroit style, made with a runnier chili, and Flint style, made with thicker, drier chili. With over 350 chain and independent purveyors of these dogs in the metro-Detroit area, an entire restaurant industry has developed from the hot dog and are called Coney Islands.[16]

New Jersey

New Jersey's potato dog includes diced stewed potatoes combined with brown mustard served on a spicy hot dog. The most common brands of spicy hot dogs used are Sabrett's or Best's, both of which are NJ companies. A traditional Newark Style Dog (also called an Italian Hot Dog) is made by cutting a round "pizza bread" in half (for a double) or into quarters (for a single), cutting a pocket into it and spreading the inside with mustard. A deep-fried dog (or two if it is a double) is put in the pocket, topped with fried (or sautéed) onions and peppers, and then topped off with crisp-fried potato chunks. A quicker version of this, often simply called a double dog, can also be requested at some lunch trucks, luncheonettes and pizzerias in the state. Instead of the traditional potato round, French fries are substituted and in some spots a Portuguese or sub roll replaces the traditional round bread used.[17]

Rutt's Hut in Clifton, NJ is famed for its rippers, hot dogs deep-fried to the point where the sausages burst open, resulting in a dense, caramelized outer casing. The rippers are served with Rutt's homemade relish, a blend of mustard, onions, carrots and cabbage.

New York

In New York City, the natural-casing all-beef hot dogs served at Katz's Delicatessen, Gray's Papaya, Papaya King, Papaya Dog and any Sabrett cart are all made by Sabrett's parent company, Marathon Enterprises, Inc. of East Rutherford, New Jersey (Levine 2005). Nathan's hot dogs, which are all-beef and come in both natural-casing and skinless, were also made by Marathon until several years ago (Levine 2005). Local kosher brands—which are not permitted natural casings—include Hebrew National, Empire National (Levine 2005). The usual condiments are mustard and sauerkraut, with optional sweet onions in a tomato based sauce invented by Alan Geisler, usually made by Sabrett. Hot dogs are available on street corners as well as at delicatessens. New York street vendors generally store their unsold dogs in warm-water baths, giving rise to the semi-affectionate moniker "dirty water dog." Bagel dogs are also sold in Manhattan.[17]

The white hot is a variation on the hot dog found in Rochester, New York, and the upstate area.[18] It is composed of some combination of uncured and unsmoked pork, beef, and veal; the lack of smoking or curing allows the meat to retain a naturally white color.[19] White hots usually contain mustard and other spices, and often include a dairy component such as nonfat dry milk.

North Carolina

In North Carolina, hot dogs are prepared Carolina style which includes chili, slaw and onions; locally, mustard sometimes replaces slaw, or is added as a fourth item. Merrit's Burger House has been serving Carolina hot dogs since 1958.[20]


When Cincinnati chili is served on a Coney-style hot dog, dubbed the "Cheese Coney", the chili is also topped with cheese. The default Coney also includes mustard and a small amount of diced onion.[21]


In Seattle, hot dogs are served with cream cheese and grilled onions on a toasted bun. The sausages are split in half and grilled before being put in the bun. Stands offer a variety of condiments, such as Sriracha sauce and jalapenos.[22]

West Virginia

An "all-the-way" hot dog in West Virginia generally, but not always, features yellow mustard, chopped onions, chili (or "sauce"), and cole slaw.[23]



A Montréal-style hot-dog, as popularised by numerous shops such as the famous Montreal Pool Room,[24] is either steamed or toasted. It is generally topped with coleslaw, onion, mustard, relish, and occasionally paprika or chili powder. Due to the bilingual nature of Montréal street culture, these are usually ordered, and condiments named, in Franglais.[25] Montreal hot dogs can be found throughout Eastern Canada and the United States.[26]

South America


In São Paulo state, and particularly the city of Campinas (SP), some hot dogs consist of a non-heated semi-circular bun filled with a weiner-type sausage, chopped tomatoes, vinaigrette, sweet corn, ketchup, mustard, mayonnaise, shoestring potatoes, and topped with mash potatoes, contained in a plastic bag, which it fills completely, and shaped such that the top layer of mashed potatoes (or optional cheese) forms a flat circular surface.[27]


A Chilean completo with an "italian" combination

In Chile there is a popular variation called completo (Spanish for "complete", "total") which, besides bread and sausages, can be made up of mashed avocado, chopped tomatoes, mayonnaise, sauerkraut, a variation of the sauce américaine, Chilean chili, green sauce and cheese. Its size can be twice of an American hot dog.[28]

The multiple combinations of the ingredients od the completo leads to have specific names for the most typical ones, for example:

  • Completo (Complete): Traditional version with chopped tomatoes, mayonnaise (a large amount) and sauerkraut.
  • Italiano (Italian): Consists of chopped tomatoes, mashed avocadoes and mayonnaise. The name comes from its resemblance with the colors of the Italian flag.
  • Dinámico (Dynamic): A mix of the aforementioned ingredients (tomatoes, avocados, mayonnaise and sauerkraut or sauce américaine.
  • Tomate mayo (Tomato-mayo): As its name suggests, it a version with only chopped tomatoes and mayonnaise.[29]



In Japan, hot dogs are used in bento boxes and are often sliced to resemble an octopus. Japanese Fusion Dogs are not actually from Japan but are a Pacific Northwest invention that pairs hot dogs with Japanese and Asian condiments like wasabi, kimchi and teriyaki.[30]


Taiwanese style hotdogs are put on a sticky rice bun or without a bun on a stick.[31]


Denmark & Iceland

The most popular European variation is the Danish hot dog. It usually includes a red sausage (Røde Pølser), ketchup, dijon mustard, fried onion, raw onion and remoulade, a mayonnaise-based sauce with sweet relish and topped with sliced dill cucumbers. The Danish style hot dog is spread in the Scandinavian countries as well as Germany.

Steff Houlberg/Tulip corporation operates 4300 hotdog stands in Denmark alone, and has also opened a chain in Korea, Japan and China.[3].

In August 2006, the British newspaper The Guardian selected Bæjarins beztu as the best hot dog stand in Europe.[4]. Bæjarins beztu pylsur (English: The best hot dog in town) often shortened to simply "Bæjarins beztu", is a popular hot dog stand in central Reykjavík, Iceland. Hot dogs from this stand are derived from the Danish hot dog. They are often ordered with "the works," i.e., all condiments, or in Icelandic "eina með öllu".

Further reading


  1. ^ Beloved Birmingham hot dog man Constantine 'Gus' Koutroulakis, dies at 81
  2. ^ Gus Koutroulakis, owner of Pete's Famous Hot Dogs
  3. ^ Robbins, Ted. "The Sonoran Hotdog Crosses The Border". NPR. Retrieved 2009-08-10. 
  4. ^ John T. Edge, "In Praise of the All-American Mexican Hot Dog", New York Times, August 26, 2009.
  5. ^ "Pinks Hot Dogs". Retrieved 2008-12-01. 
  6. ^ "Original Tommy's - Our Story". Archived from the original on October 11, 2007. Retrieved 2008-12-01. 
  7. ^ "HDOS Enterprises, An Employee Owned Company". Retrieved 2008-12-01. 
  8. ^ "Oki-Dog Fairfax Vs. Oki’s-Dog Pico: The Chart That No-One Wants To See". 2006-02-28. Retrieved 2009-06-10. 
  9. ^
  10. ^ A Connecticut Hot Dog Tour: Blackie's Hot Dogs
  11. ^ Brats and Kielbasa at Windmill Restaurant
  12. ^ Stern, Jane; Stern, Michael (2009). 500 Things to Eat Before It's Too Late: And the Very Best Places to Eat Them. Houghton Mifflin Harcourt. ISBN 0547059078. 
  13. ^ Zeldes, Leah A. (2010-07-07). "Eat this! The Chicago hot dog, born in the Great Depression". Dining Chicago. Chicago's Restaurant & Entertainment Guide, Inc.. Retrieved 2010-07-31. 
  14. ^ [1][dead link]
  15. ^ "A home run, a hot dog, and a hallelujah moment at Fenway - The Boston Globe". September 4, 2005. Retrieved 2008-12-01. 
  16. ^ "American Coney Island". Retrieved 2008-12-01. 
  17. ^ a b Levine, Ed (May 25, 2005). "It's All in How the Dog Is Served". New York Times. Retrieved 2011-01-21. 
  18. ^ "Red or White," The Washington Post, May 24, 2006,
  19. ^
  20. ^ "Go back in time at Merritt’s Burger House: Star News Online". 
  21. ^ "Cincinnati Chili: Pass the Tabasco". Fodor's. Retrieved 2009-08-19. 
  22. ^ Hot Dog Of The Week: Seattle Style
  23. ^ The Art of the West Virginia Hot Dog, Erica Peterson, WV Public Radio, February 16, 2009 [2]
  24. ^ Kinik, A.J. (2007-05-24). "Sprucing up the hot dog". Montreal Mirror. Retrieved 16 August 2011. 
  25. ^ "Best stimmés/steamies". Retrieved 16 August 2011. 
  26. ^ ""Out Of This World Hot Dogs" Menu". Retrieved 16 August 2011. 
  27. ^ Hot Dog Central
  28. ^ Chilean hot dog and sandwiches
  29. ^ Combinations of the Chilean completo
  30. ^ Domo Dogs
  31. ^ Taiwanese Sausage 香腸

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